Hooked On Science – Defy Gravity with a Bottle and a Ping Pong Ball

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SCIENCE SAFETY
PLEASE follow these safety precautions when doing any science experiment.
• ALWAYS have an adult present.
• ALWAYS wear the correct safety gear while doing any experiment.
• NEVER eat or drink anything while doing any experiment.
• REMEMBER experiments may require marbles, small balls, balloons, and other small parts. Those objects could become a CHOKING HAZARD. Adults are to perform those experiments using these objects. Any child can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons. Keep uninflated or broken balloons away from children.

INGREDIENTS
• 12 FL OZ Empty Gatorade Bottle
• Ping Pong Ball
• Water

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INSTRUCTIONS
STEP 1: Overfill the empty bottle with water.
STEP 2: Place the ping pong ball on top of the bottle.
STEP 3: Slowly turn the bottle upside down and observe. Compare the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of the ping pong ball. Provide evidence of the effects of balanced forces on the motion of the ping pong ball.

EXPLANATION
Multiple forces are acting on the ping pong ball. Gravity pulls the ping pong ball toward Earth, the water is pushing down on the ping pong ball, and air pressure is pushing up on the ping pong ball. The ping pong ball stays in place, since the water helps create a seal around the ping pong ball and the air pressure, or the force exerted by the weight of the air, is greater than the forces pushing and pulling down on the ping pong ball.

Download these instructions here and check the Hooked on Science page for more science experiments.